Joy. If the circumstances are right—if everything, or at least almost everything, is going our way— then we can feel joy. That's what most people in our culture believe. But since we live in a world that is full of difficult and puzzling circumstances and events, most of us seldom experience that kind of joy.
Articles in this issue:
There was, finally, the business of the Calvary Church sign. Pastor Jack had placed the item at the end of the consistory agenda, not only because it wasn't top priority, but also because replacing the sign would prompt a ton of jokes, all of them aimed at him.
Soon after the Psalter Hymnal was released in 1988, people started calling, wondering when the Psalter Hymnal Handbook would be ready. I got calls and letters, even from different countries. After all, this would be a first for the Reformed tradition: there was no English-language companion volume that dealt with both psalms and hymns from the perspective of the Reformed heritage of congregational song.
Q. The Presbyterian Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Songs contains "My Country Tis of Thee" and other patriotic songs, but the Christian Reformed Psalter Hymnal does not. Is that failure caused by the fact that the Christian Reformed Church was at one time a Dutch immigrant church?
Each week I have twenty minutes to sing with the children in church school before they go to their classes. This year's theme was the Apostles' Creed. I divided the creed into nine "articles" and chose songs relating to each of them. The "articles" were taught at appropriate times during the Christian year. At the end of the year, they were incorporated into the following program, which was part of a worship service.
Cathy Townley and Mike Graham. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995. $59.95.
The task of launching a contemporary worship service for a church can be a daunting challenge in and of itself. The greater challenge, however, lies in transforming the worship culture of a church without dividing the congregation into contemporary and traditionalist factions.
We have begun annual ecumenical Ascension Day services in the city of Georgetown, Ontario. So often Ascension Day is either ignored or moved to the following Sunday because it is so difficult to get people to come out for a midweek service. We have found that making it into an ecumenical service has revitalized our Ascension Day service. The Roman Catholics were amazed by the singing. The Christian Reformed people were impressed by the Roman Catholic choir and church building! All together approximately 325 attended.
A reading of Acts 2:1-6 and John 3:16 in a variety of languages
The following reading for Pentecost is a very simple way to present the international celebration implicit in the day. It requires the use of several candles to be placed on a display table. Two readers present the first six verses from Acts 2, lighting a candle at the place where the text mentions the tongues of fire. Then, at the cue of Acts 2:6, various languages are used to present the essence of the gospel as described in John 3:16.